A route manager works for an organization involved in travel on a regular basis, such as a transportation or delivery company. The route manager’s duties involve coordinating vehicles, personnel, and cargo for a given location. This location can be a small region, such as a postal delivery area, or it can span continents, as airline routes do. Route managers are sometimes part of a network of such managers, each specializing in a separate location or service. The term route manager is also sometimes applied to the driver or delivery person who covers a certain local area.
Modern transportation and delivery companies are globe-spanning outfits that must be able to deliver cargo or passengers to any one of millions of possible destinations around the world. Other organizations, such as postal and waste management services, must make daily or weekly trips to every address within a certain area. The travel agenda for such a service is called a route, and for the sake of efficiency, many organizations will determine permanent routes as part of official policy. For example, an airline route may include regular trips between two distant cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, while a postal route may involve all the addresses within a single postal code.
The route manager is in charge of coordinating travel to one or several routes. This requires detailed knowledge of numerous factors, including available vehicles and personnel, local and national regulations, and company policy. An airline route manager, for example, must ensure than the crew for an international flight includes some bilingual personnel and that crew members are not overworked by repeated long flights. Such requirements are governed by both aviation law and company policy and can vary depending on the route.
The route manager for a company involved in local travel, such as taxicabs or package delivery, will focus on different matters. He or she may need to be aware of delivery deadlines, current road construction projects, and which vehicles are unavailable due to maintenance. Local and national laws can determine not only the requirements for delivery vehicles and drivers, but also delivery hours and what kinds of materials can be transported.
Route manager is also sometimes used as a job title for drivers on such local routes. These drivers are responsible for all deliveries or pickups within a certain geographic area. They may determine the best travel methods based on their own knowledge of an area, or they may work with supervisors or dispatchers. Unlike some delivery jobs, which are notoriously low-paying and menial, the salaries and benefits for this kind of route manager can be competitive and form the basis of a lasting career.